Substance Use Treatment in Pregnancy

For Providers

Project CARA can help you support your female patients with substance use disorders no matter where they live in Western North Carolina

Project CARA provides pregnant and parenting women with a full continuum of integrated obstetric and substance use disorder care to ensure the best health outcomes. Our evidence-based, trauma-informed program is modeled after Vermont’s nationally recognized hub-and-spoke model of care for opioid use disorder (OUD) and UNC Horizons Perinatal Substance Use Program.

We have supported more than 450 women with substance use disorders from all 16 WNC counties since 2015. Our perinatal services include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is the treatment approach recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for pregnant women with OUD.

Project CARA is housed in MAHEC’s high-risk obstetrics clinic in Asheville. Most services (level 1) are available during regular obstetrical visits, which reduces barriers to comprehensive care.

Comprehensive Integrated Perinatal Services

During regularly scheduled visits, Project CARA patients can access the following services:

  • Routine obstetrical care
  • Maternal-fetal medicine referral and treatment (if indicated)
  • Behavioral health counseling with a licensed clinical addiction specialist (1:1 and group)
  • MAT with buprenorphine prescribing, when appropriate
  • Psychiatric medication management (including buprenorphine and methadone)
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome counseling and delivery planning
  • Tobacco cessation counseling
  • Hepatitis C screening, counseling, and referral
  • Social services support and counseling
  • Free legal services
  • Peer support services

More intensive services (level 2), when needed, are coordinated with community partners that include Insight Women’s Recovery Center, Mary Benson House, JFK Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center (ADATC), Mission Health, and Vaya Health.

Rural Practice Consultations

For women living in outlying rural counties, Project CARA can provide high-risk consultation services for both patients and providers. We can also help locate and coordinate services that can be provided closer to home.

Referral Process

Project CARA supports pregnant and parenting women from all 16 WNC counties who are at risk for substance use disorders including women who have

  • screened for or disclosed a substance use disorder,
  • screened for or disclosed substance misuse,
  • prior histories of substance use disorders or misuse, or
  • tested positive for substances during labor and delivery.

We are a safety net provider and accept Medicaid and most major health insurance plans including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC, Cigna, and MedCost, and self pay.

If you are a provider and would like to make a referral, please download and fax your completed referral form to 828-771-5479 along with any prenatal or medical records including blood type, harmony, quad screen, and/or ultrasound results.

For additional resources, please click here.

 ADATC